Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Principal Tonya Hammaker, Lt. Col. Ned Matich, Proclamation, Jose Lupe Martinez, Memorial Day

Tonya Hammaker

          NEW PRINCIPAL: Interim Principal Tonya Hammaker is the newly contracted principal at Farragut Career Academy High School, 2345 S. Christiana Ave. in Little Village. On Tuesday, May 8, 2012, Farragut’s LSC members voted unanimously to give Ms. Hammaker a 4-year contract effective immediately.
          MS. HAMMAKER has an impressive resume as an educator. She holds both a Master of Arts in Teaching, Masters of Educational Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has extensive experience with curriculum development, data analysis and improvement of school culture; with 11 years experience working in a high school.
          FOR FOUR years, Ms. Hammaker was a Dean of Instruction at Farragut in 2006-2010 and has been interim principal since January 2012. “I am confident I possess the qualifications to increase student achievement and move Farragut toward becoming a Level I school in excellent standing” said Principal Hammaker.
          AS INTERIM PRINCIPAL at Farragut, Ms. Hammaker worked diligently to promote a safe environment, increase attendance, celebrate student success, increase parental contact and improve the metrics in order to continue Farragut’s Level II status for this school year. Present enrollment is 1,350.
          HAMMAKER reinstituted the Student of the Month program, which celebrates student success, offered attendance incentives and created a positive behavior token economy, awarding students for good behavior. Last February she hosted a “Meet the Principal” event to meet parents and learn more about the needs of students and the community. “I have worked with teachers on an individual basis to ensure they have the materials and support needed to improve student achievement,” Hammaker said.  
          LSC MEMBERS who voted were Fabiola Andrade, Maria Avila, Eva Bahena, Antonia Hernandez, Maria Lopez, Martha Ramirez, August Sallas, Maria Silva, Victor Younger, Linda Trevino-Garcia and William Nelson. Ineligible to vote was student representative Leslie Andrade and interim Principal Tonya Hammaker.
          HAMMAKER SAID: “As principal, I will work closely with the LSC, parents, teachers, students and the community.”  We congratulate Ms. Tonya Hammaker and wish her success!
Lt. Col. Ned Matich
          ROTC LEADER:  Lt. Col. Ned Matich, 67, is retiring at the end of June after 20 years of service as the Commandant of the General George S. Patton, Jr. U.S. Army JROTC at Farragut Career Academy. For Matich, “It’s like leaving your child behind,” he stated. “I spent more waken hours here [ROTC/Farragut] than at home,” said Matich.                    
          LT. COL. MATICH has been an outstanding Commandant and role model for the ROTC cadets. He has taught cadets what he learned from his 24-years of service in the U.S. Army by instilling values, business skills, and strengthened the love of family and country.  “The Army made me who I am today,” said Matich.
         “IT WAS CPS CEO Paul Valles, in 1999, took the public school ROTC programs out of the basement and created the military academies in Chicago” said Lt. Col. Matich. Farragut ROTC is the only in-school academy still functioning and an enrollment of 257 students. Former Farragut principal Edward Guerra gave the ROTC the space at Farragut and paid for the beautiful military art work in the halls and in classrooms.
         ROTC DATES BACK to 1916 by an Act of Congress and started in Chicago in 1919. Matich said there are two misconceptions about the ROTC: [1] the ROTC program is to put kids into the military academies, and [2] the ROTC is a “reform” school. “The ROTC is not a boot camp. We want the best kids who will do better than average,” said Matich. Out of the top ten seniors in this year’s graduating class, eight are ROTC students. There are forty ROTC students in this year’s graduating class and not one will be going to a military academy. “We are giving the ROTC students values and disciplines to carrying them thru life,” Matich said.  
          EVERY THREE years, the ROTC programs are inspected by the U.S. Army. Farragut’s ROTC received a perfect score of 600 points. No other school has scored 600. “Our ROTC cadets marched in the Memorial Day parade which was reinstituted by Mayor Richard M. Daley and won the title of “Best Marching Unit” four times,” Col. Matich said. The ROTC cadets also march in the “Cinco de Mayo”, the “26th Street Mexican Independence Day” parades and have participated in the Manuel Perez Jr. Commemorative Memorial Services and the UNO Memorial School Campus ceremonies.
          ON RETIRING, Matich said he would like to become a mentor and/or a consultant for Chicago Public Schools ROTC affairs. He said, “My wife is retired and I have two grandkids that I want to enjoy before they grow up.” In closing, Matich said, “I would like to see our ROTC kids marching in front of the Mexican Independence Day parade.”
          INVITATION: Col. Matich is extending an invitation to all former cadets and their families to an Open House at Farragut Career Academy Sunday, July 1, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Come and see the ROTC Academy. “I appreciate our relationship over the years,” said Matich.
Steve Landek
          A PROCLAMATION: State Sen. Steven M. Landek, 11th Legislative District, sponsored a Proclamation signed April 27, 2012 honoring Lt. Col. Ned Matich and the General George S. Patton, Jr. US Army JROTC Academy, which read:
          “PROCLAIMED, by the Senate of the Ninety-Seventh General Assembly of the State of Illinois that we show our appreciations to Lieutenant Colonel Ned Matich and his staff for their outstanding service and leadership of this outstanding and impressive group of cadets and recognize the General George S. Patton Jr. US ARMY JROTC Academy as an outstanding group of    young men and women with a list of impressive accomplishments.”
          SEN. LANDEK also acknowledged the cadets competitive in Platoon Drill, Orienteering, Color Guard, Rifle Drill and many other demonstrations of military precision, pride and professionalism.
          MEMORIAL DAY: The Manuel Perez Jr. American Legion Post 107 cordially invites veterans, families, community to the Memorial Day ceremony at the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza, 26th & Kolin Ave., Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. Everyone is also invited immediately after the ceremony to the Post Hall, 2658 S. Hamlin Ave., for coffee, cake and tamales. For more info contact Post Commander Joe Ramirez 773/522-9315. 
Joe Lupe Martinez
          FAREWELL:  Jose Lupe Martinez, 81, died on May 19, 2012. “Lupe”, as he was called by his family and friends, was a Korean War Veteran and a recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart. He was the husband of Margaret [nee Blas]; father of Cynthia Lozando, Sandra [Jose] Quinero, Lisa Vargas, Richard [Christine] Martinez, Denise [Marcell] McClinton, Della [Mamoon] Aburimileh and the late Dean C. Martinez. He was the grandfather of 19 grandchildren and great-grandfather of 5 great-grandchildren; fond Uncle of many nieces and nephews.
          LUPE was a member of the V.F.W., Manuel Perez Jr. American Legion Post 1017, American Legion, Mexican American Veterans Association [MAVA].  He will be remembered by fellow veterans and friends as the “first Mexican-American wounded in the Korean War from Illinois”.

                              FLY THE AMERICAN FLAG

                                  MEMORIAL DAY 
                               Monday, May 28, 2012